The role of folic acid in preventing neural tube defects

Neural tube defects (NTDs) are congenital abnormalities affecting the infant’s spinal cord, brain, and spine. Common types of NTDs are anencephaly, spina bifida, and omphalocele. These birth defects are known to develop as a result of both genetic and environmental factors.

Although the precise reason is still not completely understood, taking  folic acid (vitamin b9) during pregnancy has a profound effect on preventing the development of NTDs.

Women of childbearing age are advised by the U.S. Public Health Service to consume 400 mcg (0.4mg) of folic acid every day to lower the risk of NTDs. In fact, a woman taking folic acid daily prior to conception and in early pregnancy can decrease the risk of their child developing an NTD by up to 70%.

Unfortunately, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drug Zoloft has been known to inhibit the absorption of folic acid in the body, which in turn increases the risk of NTDs. If your baby has been adversely affected by this drug, a lawyer at Williams Kherkher can help you figure out your eligibility for compensation from the manufacturer. Call our offices today at (800) 220-9341 if you would like to see how we can help you.

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